The Cenation leader John Cena despite being away from the ring as of late, is a constant figure as the poster boy of the WWE. Cena was recently a guest on Jimmy Traina’s SI Media Podcast, where the discussed the PG program at length including the Universal Champion Roman Reigns’ long-lasting struggle with the crowd.
The 16-time champion took some of the blame and proceeded to talk about the topic. Cena said:
“Roman has it tough. I kind of ruined this for everybody; the content and the format change did. Attitude Era was male 18-35. And our program still draws males 18-35. But we’re a PG program. Which means your audience is a six-year-old.
Don’t think there’s not a second in my mind that our audience isn’t six. Our audience is so mixed that there’s never going to be a good guy that appeals to everyone.
“Even if it’s someone that the fans endorse and become the guy; it’s a thing where the fans are like, ‘Okay, you as a company are going with this guy? No, you’re not because we get to choose!’ When Roman was with The Shield, everybody loved him. He didn’t really change much. He was soft-spoken, his actions spoken for him, he performs incredibly well. Yet there’s a giant uprising because a lot of it is, ‘You can’t tell us what to like.’ And that’s okay; it’s just tough waters to navigate as a company and it is tough to build stars. You have to look at your consumers and the analytics. People really like Roman Reigns. And the numbers are there to prove it.”
Cena also went on to talk about his feud with the Big Dog which resulted in a match at No Mercy last year. Cena claimed that Reigns evolved as a performer during the program. Cena stated:
“Letting Roman know that there is another level to the game. And if you don’t step up to that level, you don’t have the right to call yourself someone at that level. That’s what my job with Roman was supposed to be. The great thing with Roman is that he understood that and was open to it. You want to talk about being vulnerable and letting it all hang out. He got his teeth knocked out verbally and shot back with what I thought was one of his best performances. Over the story arc of five weeks, he did learn. There were slip-ups at the beginning, but by the end it was one of his best emotional investments in a program he’s been in.”
H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcript